Sindh has been under a complete lockdown due to a spike in coronavirus cases since March 23, but Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah regrets not imposing the lockdown a week earlier.
“Things would’ve been so much better had we imposed it on March 15,” Shah said while speaking on SAMAA TV’s programme Nadeem Malik Live on Tuesday night.
“We would be speaking of reopening businesses right now and the scenario with the Tablighi Jamat could’ve been avoided as well.”
Numerous people associated with the Tablighi Jamaat in Sindh have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The jamaat members go door-to-door to preach, one of the reasons the authorities fear that a huge number of people might have caught the virus.
Now, the chief minister says, cases of local transmissions are rapidly increasing.
Shah admitted that the lockdown cannot continue for more than a month. He said the only way of handing out rations to the deserving families was to deliver it to their doorsteps.
Giving rations on the roads defeats the purpose of isolation, he said.
Shah said 6,500 people have been tested for the coronavirus in Sindh so far and more than 600 have tested positive.
We have increased our capacity from 80 tests per day to 600 to 700 tests every day, he said.
He added that it was the moral responsibility of people to pay their domestic workers at least a month’s salary during these times, adding that he’ll ensure all labourers’ families are taken care of.
“The Sindh government has been working with many NGOs to provide cash and rations to needy families, but covering all families will take a lot of time,” he said.
With more than 42,000 deaths recorded across the globe, cases of the coronavirus are continuously emerging in many countries.
Studies conducted by several foreign universities suggest that the number of coronavirus cases will spike in April and May in the Americas and Europe.
The Sindh CM said a study foreseeing such a situation in Pakistan hasn’t been prepared yet, but he agreed that cases are going to increase at a higher rate in the next few days.
“Let it be 100 cases or 10 million cases, the only solution now is isolation and social distancing,” he stressed.
Shah said the lockdown in Sindh has definitely helped curbing the rapid spread of the virus. Although, for daily wage earners across Pakistan who aren’t able to make a penny due to suspension of business, he said he was in talks with the federal government. The following are some of the recommendations he has given to the Centre:
The Sindh CM, however, said the Centre is yet to give a concrete response to his suggestions.